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What Rhymes With "National Poetry Month"?
Doctor, Doctor, in your green coat
Doctor, Doctor, cut my throat
And when you've cut it, Doctor, then
Won't you sew it up again.
-- "To A Surgeon" by Issac Asimov
April is National Poetry Month.
Most of you probably find that sentence more horrifying than news of Platinum Dunes' upcoming remake of The Monster Squad, but hear me out.
Established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is a month-long celebration of poetry that aims "to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture."
For I have bombed your cat and
stabbed it. For I am the ambassador of
this wheelbarrow and you are the janitor
of a dandelion. Indeed, you are a
teacher of great chickens, for you are
from the town of Fat Blastoroma, O
tawdry realtor. For I have clapped
your dillywong in a sizeable door.
-- "A Defense of Poetry" by Gabriel Gudding
Poetry is all around us, whether we realize it or not. Bumper stickers. Greeting cards. Rap poetry slams. Magazines.
Authors sometimes begin their
to set the
(Some authors' epigraphs are their own creations and part of the overall story, like in Frank Herbert's Dune, Stephen King's Misery, or myriad books by Dean Koontz.)
Song lyrics. Political speeches. Wedding toasts. Ad campaigns. Graffiti. Awkward Twitter haikus. Dirty limericks.
As Dr. Jekyll is strolling through the park in the 1931 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he stops to quote Keats: "Thou was not born for death, immortal Bird! / No hungry generations tread thee down..."
Apocalypse Now uses several of T.S. Eliot's poems, including "The Hollow Men."
Roger Corman's Bucket of Blood is set in the world of '50s beat poets and -- like so many other films -- opens with a poem. (Sometimes films close with a poem, like Cat People (1942) with Donne's "Holy Sonnet V.")
"Stay gold, Ponyboy" would be meaningless if The Outsiders hadn't first used Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay" during a funeral scene.
Faraway in China,
the people sometimes say,
life is often bitter
and all too seldom gray.
Bitter as dragon tears,
great cascades of sorrow
flood down all the years,
drowning our tomorrows.
Faraway in China,
the people always say,
life is sometimes joyous
if all too often gray.
Although life is seasoned
with bitter dragon tears,
seasoning is just a spice
within our brew of years.
Bad times are only rice,
tears are one more flavor,
that gives us sustenance
sometimes we can savor.
--The Book of Counted Sorrows, from Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz
What poem will you carry on Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 29?
"FANGRRL" is ©2010 by Lisa Scherer. All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.